The history of Thailand goes back more than seven centuries. Thailand is a country of scenic diversity and ancient traditions. By absorbing the spectrum of cultural influences the kingdom nicely blend them in a unique culture of its own, and it is graciously reflected in the fine art and architecture of the country. As a realm of Buddhism, the Buddhism architecture is visible in temples, wall paintings and Buddha figures, and the classical performing arts, traditional music and folklore.
Thai classical art can be divided into five major periods, which are Srivijaya, Khmer, Sukhothai, Ayutthaya and Rattanakosin.
1) The Srivijaya and Khmer
It was the Kingdom of Malay Srivijaya, that covered the south of Thailand from 7th to 13th century and is the reference to the art of South and architecture, mainly Buddhist temples and Buddha images. Outside the South, other parts of Thailand were hit by the powerful Khmer Empire. The exotic Khmer inspiration can be seen at many historical parks, temples and statues seen today.
2) The Sukhothai
Sukhothai period of 13th and 14th century was considered as the beginning of Thai Kingdom in the history of Thailand. Art and architecture during this period demonstrate the prosperous and peaceful character of Sukhothai, which spread through Theravada Buddhism in the form of shapes, sizes, and the appearance of temples and Buddha figurines. Chinese craftsmen began to emerge and influence the art of Thailand, by helping Sukhothai to produce classic ceramics.
3) The Ayutthaya
The inspiration from the Sukhothai era, coupled with influences from abroad, was clearly visible through art and architecture of Ayutthaya during the 15th to18th century. Chinese artisans have played an important role in introducing many kinds of art to Ayutthaya, such as the colorful paintings, lacquer, mother-of-pearl inlays, and certain types of music. One of the biggest similarities between the architecture of Ayutthaya is the Grand Palace, whose plan is identical to the former royal palace of Ayutthaya.
4) The Rattanakosin
The Rattanakosin period begins in 1782, the same time as the birth of Bangkok, the present capital of Thailand. Developed to date, the art and architecture have developed to perfection in many forms, styles and models and designs. The unique combination of culture and religion of Thailand, and external influences to create great architecture and beauty can be seen everywhere in the country, such as palace, temple and museum.
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